European Union wants to spend €1bn on supercomputers

  • European Union wants to spend €1bn on supercomputers

European Union wants to spend €1bn on supercomputers

Andrus Ansip, vice-president for the Digital Single Market at the European Commission, said: "Supercomputers are the engine to power the digital economy". The EU's contribution to the project, matched by a similar amount from Member States and associated countries, is mainly aimed at speeding up the digitalization of the economy and securing Europe's global competiveness in research and innovation.

The European Commission's proposal claims that European institutions and businesses are now at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting their sensitive data.

Expertise built up in the first phase would help Europe go beyond petaflops for the second stage of its research project and aims, by 2023, to make a machine that can breach the exaflop barrier.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will operate in 2019-2026. Of that amount, $589 million will come from the EU. "Our progress report on the European HPC strategy, done for the Commission, contained a related recommendation".

According to Ansip, the EU has planned to give European researchers and companies supercomputers by 2020.

13 countries have formally signed up to the initiative, launched in March past year, to develop computers that can perform at least a hundred quadrillion (that's a million billion) calculations per second.

China now leads with the fastest supercomputer in the world: the Sunway TaihuLight has over 10 million computer cores.

The European Commission has announced a plan to invest Euro 1 billion of public funds in improving the EU's infrastructure for high-performance computing.

The increased participation by the EC certainly seems to be in line with that analysis.

Brussels officials said Europe was "lagging behind" on supercomputers, noting that none of the world's top ten most powerful machines were in the EU.

"Supercomputers are already at the core of major advancements and innovations in many areas directly affecting the daily lives of European citizens", said Mariya Gabriel, Chief Gaggler for Digital Economy and Society.

China overtook the United States in numbers and performance for supercomputers in a ranking last November, followed by non-EU Switzerland and Japan in third and fourth place. "They can help us to develop personalized medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently. A better European supercomputing infrastructure holds great potential for job creation and is a key factor for the digitisation of industry and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy".

Such sentiments are now common with European Union bureaucrats, as reflected by comments from Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.